Principle 7: Disruption

Matt Landau

Staff member

IDEA: Disruptive times call for disruptive measures. This means doing the things that your competitors can not do, are not willing to do, or have quite simply never done before. The more disruptive you are, the more you change the terms of the playing field. Oppositely, playing by everyone else's rules makes it harder to win.

ACTION: Ask yourself, "How disruptive are we in our local market?"

Example 1: @CJ is disrupting by building vacation rental homes from scratch in Blue Ridge, Georgia. None of the other owners or managers (who have re-outfitted existing homes) can compete with a product that has been tailor designed for business.

Example 2: Inspirato is disrupting with its Inspirato Pass aka. "the netflix of travel" in which guests pay a fixed $2,000 per month to stay in unlimited luxury vacation rental homes across the globe. Will it work? We don't know -- risk is a part of disruption.

Example 3: @Kristi of The Starship Landing Retreat in Joshua Tree reaches out to influencers on Instagram, offers them free nights in exchange for beautiful sets of photographs, which the influencers even post on their own account for bonus exposure.

Example 4: @LynnG of Sinya on Lone Man Creek delivers fresh smore's kits to her glamping guests. She has the only bee-friendly soaps and shampoos around. She is the first, the only, and the best.

In school, disrupting gets you scolded at by teachers. But in vacation rentals, its the fastest way to forge your lead.

As always, feel free to reply and share any examples: how disruptive are you?


Inner Circle
Pretty disruptive! While in Lindsborg last weekend, the Ad Hoc Roundtable informed me about adding murals downtown. The artists from Kansas City had already visited and selected the side of one of my buildings as the best location. This mural will be completed before Friday's start of Lindsborg's Svensk Hyllningsfest.

From concept to completion was less than two weeks! And that's going through the city's committee that approves signage. One of the Wichita TV stations covered Lindsborg yesterday - the fifth segment is in front of the mural depicting Swedish folk dancers (unless you need a pickup, please ignore the ad prior):

This mural will be "presented by Lindsborg Vacation Rentals" so it's also an advertising expense for my properties.
@Matt Landau : If this also a "success" I can repost.
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Villa Ausblick
Inner Circle
This spring I partnered up with StockTheHouse, a luxury concierge service provider to add a little bit extra to our guest experience. I did so without any financial interest, but merely to excel on delivering a superb vacation home rental experience. I just reviewed our 6 month engagement and am proud to share that:

- I have seen a 50% increase in guests writing reviews (all 5*)
- Numerous guests groups have expressed sincere interest in a repeat booking for 2020 (no confirmed booking yet)
- Of 5 other VR homes in my area which partnered up with said concierge service provider (CSP), our property was the only one that generated leads for the CSP = we are their darling now
- The chef caterer who has done 4 cooked meals is now my go-to expert for anything BBQ related (=when guests have problems with the propane gas grill they can call him directly for trouble shooting

These were the concierge services provided so far:
- grocery shopping done in advance and waiting in fridge (moms love this one!)
- craft beer shopping done in advance
- birthday cake and flowers surprising the guest of honor
- personal chef cooking 4-course meals onsite (one event was a group of 12 dining under the stars next to a pond with the fire pit roaring. Only downside, they shlepped my interior dining furniture onto the lawn... now I am buying 2x 5' plastic folding tables and 12 folding chairs just for such occasions that can be easily set up anywhere on the property).
- personal craft beer tasting at the home
- babysitter onsite so 5 couples could attend college reunion without their 3 babies
- car driving service to visit 4 local craft breweries so everyone could enjoy the beer tasting

I am now in the process of collecting guest testimonials to better market this concierge amenity, which will truly distinguish our vacation rental home from my competitors.

I also am reviewing my original verbal arrangement (nothing in writing) with the CSP company. The owner of StockTheHouse based in NYC was supposed to do tap into her large network of vacation rental guests and NYC-families to refer them to our property. Her effort was zero, yet I generated tons of business for her.
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Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
I watched CBS Sunday's interview with Bill Bensley this morning. It's a delightful interview of this very unique hotelier in Asia. His guide to envisioning his places: What would Jackie (Kennedy) want for her vacation location?... And worthy of a Jackie-like guest the rents are $2K/night!

Best line in the interview:
"Yeah, don't call me a minimalist. You will get chucked out if you call me a minimalist. I'm a very proud maximalist" ....who prefers to call himself "Crazy/sane" which sounds more professional... "because who wants to go on vacation to a serious place?"

I'm not so sure I'd fill my home with precious antiques gathered the world over from my "cabinet of curiosities." I don't have that kind of treasures that even at $500/night I would feel confident would remain in one piece... or simply remain. However, that said I do have a few unique pieces that to offer a sense of luxury and connection to the story of our home.

Now that our home is closed for remodeling, it's giving me some time to rethink how I want to become a maximalist whose crazy/sane too.

OH... btw..when watching the show- check out his shoes too!